Congratulations to TEA•RRIFIC! ICE CREAM (www.tearrificicecream.com) for being voted Best New Product in the Edibles category at the 2012 World Tea Expo East. My conversation with the company’s president and founder, Mario Leite, validated his innovation and business acumen. As registrants in our Tea Mastery Certification Course know, we stress the importance of innovation when describing the qualities of an outstanding Certified Tea Master.
TEA•RRIFIC! ICE CREAM blends all-natural ice cream with specialty teas to produce a line of unique, delicious, mouth-watering products, an undiscovered market niche. His first flavor was Thai Iced Tea, and it was so successful that he decided to experiment with other flavors. Earl Grey was his next choice, and from there, things took off.
Five of his tea-infused flavors are available in pint-sized containers: London Mist (Earl Grey tea with a hint of vanilla), Chunky London Mist (Earl Grey tea with vanilla, chocolate flakes and roasted pecans), Masala Chai (black and rooibos tea with spices), Ginger Matcha (Matcha green tea with fresh ginger juice) and Chamomile (Egyptian chamomile tea).
For the past year, Leite has focused on the Connecticut-New York market, making his ice cream for local restaurants, cafes, and tea shops. In October of last year, though, he kicked off the retail side of things, and his ice cream is now available in local stores. His next step is to launch a gradual national roll-out.
TEA•RRIFIC! ICE CREAM is a great example of innovation, and Leite deserves a high mark for his perseverance and determination.
by Certified Tea Master Chas Kroll